Thematic Debate on Nuclear Weapons
Statement Delivered by
Ms Fathimath Nuzuha, Second Secretary
United Nations, New York, 19 October 2018
Thank you Mr Chair,
I wish to thank the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and other officials for their comprehensive briefing today on the current state of affairs in the field of arms control and disarmament.
Seventy-three years ago, the world experienced the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons. Some of us, like the Maldives, and many other countries, have made a pledge with a determination to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Every nuclear disaster since 1945 reminds us that the so-called nuclear deterrence is an illusion, and we are individually and collectively more secure without such devastating weapons.
Despite the obvious dangers, however, there are countries that are determined to pursue the development of nuclear weapons. We ask these countries to accede and implement the NPT, the CTBT, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We also ask those who possess nuclear weapons to dismantle their stockpiles and renounce the possession of these weapons. That might be difficult, but not impossible; the NPT, CTBT, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons show us the way in achieving that. The Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty we adopted in the General Assembly last year speaks of the international community’s conscience in banning and prohibiting nuclear weapons development, production, possession, use, and the threat of use. It is proof that the global community is ready for a world free from nuclear weapons, all it requires is the political will to achieve it.
The Maldives is a State Party to the NPT and the CTBT. The Maldives’ decision to join these instruments was rooted in the long-held belief that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee to prevent the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against humanity. The Maldives has never produced any armaments or weaponry of any type, nor do we have the desire to do so in future. We believe that it is our moral obligation to work towards strengthening and the enforcement of the international disarmament and non-proliferation machinery of which the First Committee remains a major pillar. We will continue to express our opinions and concerns in this arena, and we will always be ready to extend our support for those who stand up for non-proliferation and disarmament.
The Maldives also strongly advocates for the establishment of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, in line with the Resolution 2832 adopted by the General Assembly in 1971. It is in our best interest to maintain the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace, free of nuclear weapons, or other weapons of mass destruction. We believe that through cooperation among countries of the Indian Ocean region, we will be able to maintain the region as a zone of peace.
We are witnessing the easing of years of stagnation in the Korean Peninsula. It is our hope, that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea takes concrete steps towards denuclearization in the Peninsula. The Maldives welcomes the efforts by the DPRK and the Republic of Korea to find a peaceful solution to the long standing disputes in the Korean Peninsula, through the multilateral framework.
We all agree that the acts of terrorism we are witnessing is a global menace. The Maldives urges the international community to re-commit adequate resources to prevent the theft of materials that could be used in a nuclear weapon, or from terrorists acquiring them. The idea of the total elimination of nuclear weapons from this world, is as old as the bomb itself at the dawn of the atomic age. All that requires is the political will of the international community, and a commitment to acknowledge, that there is a reason to believe that we can, in fact, make that idea, a reality.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.